Beaumont Health accused of targeting nurses trying to unionize at Royal Oak hospital

Posted at 8:47 AM, Feb 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-06 08:47:48-05

(WXYZ) — Beaumont Health has been accused of targeting nurses who are trying to unionize at the Royal Oak hospital.

The National Labor Relations Board issued a complaint and notice of hearing last week alleging that Beaumont supervisors violated federal law more than two dozen times last year. In all, there are more than 30 instances included in the complaint.

Those alleged violations include:

– Coercively interrogating employees about the union sympathies and activities.
– Threatening employees with loss of favorable working conditions, "such as the loss of flexibility with scheduling and personal/work related issues."
– Outsourcing their work if they chose the Michigan Nurses Association to form a union
– Announcing in the pediatrics department that there is a rule prohibiting employees from talking about unions
– Telling employees they couldn't distribute pro-union materials

"Beaumont complies with federal labor law. We believe the allegations in the Michigan Nurses Association’s (MNA) one remaining charge are unfounded – just like the numerous allegations it already dropped or withdrew," Beaumont Health Chief Nursing Officer Susan Grant said.

The complaint comes after nurses at the hospital filed an unfair labor practice charge at the NLRB in Detroit on July 10 with the help of the Michigan Nurses Association.

According to Grant, the nurse's union withdrew two of three unfair labor practice charges that were filed

“Nurses won’t stay silent when it comes to advocating for the best patient care possible,” Beaumont nurse Lindsay Kosnak said in a release from the Michigan Nurses Association. “No matter what Beaumont does, we are committed to forming our union so we have a real voice in the workplace.”

According to the NLRB, Beaumont must stop engaging in the conduct mentioned above and rescind several rules.

A hearing is scheduled for April 13 in Detroit before an administrative law judge of the National Labor Relations Board where both sides will present arguments. Beaumont said it looks forward to presenting its case to the judge.

"We are proud of our nurses at Beaumont, Royal Oak for consistently being leaders in nursing excellence," Grant added. "We remain committed to our longstanding culture of excellence, collaboration and open communication with our nurses and all employees who are essential to our mission to provide compassionate, extraordinary care every day."